|Official Name||Imperial Hawk|
|Common Nicknames||Taloned Pigeon, Grayhawk|
The Imperial Hawk is an animal native to the Crown Isle in Regalia and has rarely left its homeland. The animal has always been a part of life in the imperial capital, living there since before the Cataclysm when the city was founded by the Regalian Kingdom. The hawk has colorations similar to that of the Common Imperial Pigeon, but this is a deception tactic used to put prey at ease before striking. As the capital grows and expands, this bird is likely to be there right alongside it, nesting and gliding across the skies of the City of Light.
The Imperial Hawk has been known to the Ailor ever since they first arrived at what would eventually become known as the Crown Isle. At the time, they were fewer in number and had brown plumage which was bespeckled with gray. As time went on, however, and the Ailor settlements on the island grew, their brown plumage was replaced with solid of shades of gray like that of the Common Imperial Pigeon. Due to Unionist circles lacking a belief in concepts like evolution, the Church propagated the birds change simply as the triumph of the strong over the weak. The brown version of the bird was destroyed by the more intelligent and gray-plumed variety, which has its place as a possible explanation. Ever since then, the bird has grown in numbers as the small hamlets and the major city itself expanded, ever gifting the bird with more living space and prey to hunt.
The Imperial Hawk is the smallest hawk in all of Aloria, with a standing height of under a foot and a wingspan of under a foot and a half. The bird weighs less than a pound, measuring around 90 to 110 grams instead. In every respect, they are a miniature hawk with the same body build: they bear two curved-taloned feet, a healthy body and wings while their face possess the same short, hooked beak. The only significant differences from other types of hawks are their eye and plumage color. The eyes of the Imperial Hawk vary between shades of dark pink, orange and yellow while their plumage is always a shade of light gray. Speckles of white exist along the wings and the legs but this just an attempt to mimic the plumage of the Imperial Pigeon.
The Imperial Hawk has equal gender distribution while their minor differences in coloration are purely random but appear in the same areas each time.
Life Span and Development
Imperial Hawks are born in egg clutches of two to five, with the eggs being white bespeckled with beige and brown. After the eggs have hatched, both parents care for their young over a period of two years where they teach them all they can about their world. Over those years, both genders mature and grow at an equal rate. After that period, hormones push the family apart as the adolescents become increasingly agitated. Eventually, each child takes off from the nest, taking with them the experience they’ve learned before immediately seeking a mate for life with a new partner of the opposite sex. They then have children of their own, and the cycle continues. The animal can live for up to ten years, and females can produce a clutch of eggs every two or three years.
The Imperial Hawk is a predator animal adapted to the urban environments of Regalia. They hunt in the daytime but take advantage of dusk as a primary prey for them, the bat, is often waking up at this time and is easier to detect. They circle over perceived prey for a bit, waiting until they are within striking distance before plunging down at the creature. The bird also gets along well when in a family, but once they have grown up, the parents become territorial and equally as annoyed as their children. A couple will grow aggressive with any adolescent or other adults who stay too long in their territory. Curiously enough, the Imperial Hawk is not a bird hunter and so does not hunt common birds like the Black Feather or the Common Imperial Pigeon that appear on the Crown Isle.
Territory and Groupings
The Imperial Hawk is a very territorial creature and dislikes other members of its species setting up shop in their chosen area. These exist in an area of 20 mi² around wherever an Imperial Hawk couple has made their nest. The animal exists only in family units or in couples, rarely ever meeting in these groups except to fight over territory.
- Imperial Hawks have often been used as a symbol of love in the capital city. What most biologists don’t have the heart to mention to people is that after the mate of an Imperial Hawk dies, they invariably grow depressed until they stop eating altogether before passing away. This can be stopped if they have children to take care of, however.
- Imperial Hawk nests have sometimes been confused for that of the Common Imperial Pigeon, which has resulted in more than a few angry pecks and scratches at people attempting to remove the hawks' nests.
- Imperial Hawks most commonly hunt bats, mice, and rats. Unfortunately for some Klienfolk, they have occasionally been confused for the latter two creatures and can be seriously hurt should the bird not get scared off. There are no known cases of Imperial Hawks eating Klienfolk as of yet.